The very essence of a relationship is being connected with at least one person or organization and acting with regard toward one another. Although most people believe this is common sense, not all relationships work that way.
My expertise is in public relations and I was taught in college that when establishing relationships between our clients and other organizations, we should always focus on making sure that those relationships are mutually beneficial. In other words, both parties should be getting something from the arrangement. This is the same way we should build our human relationships, especially those that are romantic in nature.
I’ve experienced a relationship when I was demonstrating my love for my partner more than he was demonstrating his love for me and not only was I giving away all my power, it was a very sucky situation period. I felt unimportant, I grew mentally exhausted from always being the one to put forth effort to keep things going and I eventually began to feel slightly resentful toward him.
After we went our separate ways, I promised that my next relationship (and any to follow if it wasn’t my last) would have to be built on mutual love and respect. Relationships that lack those key elements are not healthy and it’s very unlikely that the people in them will be truly happy. I also believe that those two elements go hand in hand. How can you truly love someone, but not respect them?
Of course no relationship is perfect and there will be times that the balance gets out of whack. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your relationship on the up and up if you feel that the love and respect is not equally distributed between you and your partner.
Make your concerns known. As cool as it would be, humans don’t have the ability to read minds. Sure we can pick up on body language and behavior changes but instead of playing games, let’s just be adults and communicate. Your partner won’t know that something is bothering you unless you tell them. Acknowledging a problem is the first step to solving it.
Find out what makes your partner feel loved. Sometimes it’s not that a person doesn’t love you, it may be that they just don’t know how to show you in a way that will give you that feeling. It’s kind of complicated to explain in a paragraph, but we all love and feel loved in different ways. Reading a book together like the “5 Love Languages” can help you all figure out how one another loves and in turn, you can love them they way that they need you to.
Decide if it’s worth it. As I said above, I don’t think that a person can truly love you and not respect you at the same time. If you feel that your relationship is missing those elements then maybe you should reevaluate whether or not that person is the right match for you. If they aren’t, try to end things as amicably as you can. If they are, make a commitment to one another to actively work on the problem.
Share your tips on maintaining mutual love and respect in the comments section below.